If you have a habit of scrolling on your phone while sat on the loo, you may want to reconsider your choice of bathroom entertainment.
Gastroenterologist Dr Sethi has issued a warning against using your phone on the toilet, claiming the common pastime could lead to ‘serious consequences’ in the long-run.
In a TikTok video, the Harvard and Stanford-trained stomach doctor said that while it may ‘seem harmless to scroll through your social media feed or answer some emails’ while on the enamel throne, it’s actually anything but.
‘First, using your phone while doing a number two can lead to prolonged sitting on the toilet which can cause strain and pressure on your rectum and anus,’ explained Dr Sethi.
‘This can lead to issues such as haemorrhoids, anal fissures and even rectal prolapse.’
Haemorrhoids, also known as piles, can cause itchy lumps, bright red blood or mucus in poo, and the feeling that you still need to go even after you’ve emptied your bowels. Anal fissures, which are small tears in the lining of your anus, tend to be accompanied by fresh blood and sharp pain during or after you poo.
Rectal prolapse, when part of the large intestine drops into the anus, is less common than these conditions but shares many of the same symptoms as piles. Unlike hemorrhoids or anal fissures, however, it’s chronic and progressive, meaning it won’t go away on its own.
If you’re experiencing any problems with your bowel movements, it’s a good idea to see a doctor alongside adopting healthier toilet habits like ditching tech.
Dr Sethi added that germs are another issue with scrolling on the loo, as the bathroom can be ‘a breeding ground for bacteria’ and ‘studies have found that an average smartphone is dirtier than a public toilet seat.’
Previous research revealed that half of Brits – more than 26.3 adults – are guilty of using their mobile on the lavatory (and that’s just the ones who admit it). Plus, 40% say they’ve dropped a device down the toilet or into the sink.
Hopefully the idea of losing your beloved smartphone to the u-bend is enough to get you to stop taking it with you as you relieve yourself, even if health conditions and bacteria don’t convince you.
For those that still can’t tear themselves away, though, Dr Sethi advised: ‘At least have a disinfectant wipe around to clean the phone after you’re done with the business.’
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